Environmental change, monitoring and governance

Protecting our dynamic planet

From using geo-spatial technology and paleo-environmental techniques to detect and measure environmental change, to evaluating environmental protection regimes, our researchers are helping us achieve a sustainable future.

Our aims

We are interested in environment-people dynamics in shaping place. Our activities range from using GIS and environmental proxy data to assess changing coastal, riverine and wetlands environments through to evaluating the governance dimensions of protected area management.

Our research is conducted throughout Australia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, in a wide range of biophysical settings, to explore human-environment interactions that shape the places we live.

We are interested in integrative work that looks at socio-biophysical sciences and technologies to inform social and environmental transformation.

We aim to:

  • explore dynamic human-environmental systems using geo-spatial technologies to secure better conservation outcomes and more resilient and sustainable landscapes.
  • test the efficacy of formal and informal regulation of the natural world to create more efficient and effective environmental regulation and governance regimes.
  • understand how the earth system has changed over time, and what impact these changes have had upon ecosystems and people.

Our research

University academics: Associate Professor Eleanor Bruce, Professor Dale Dominey-Howes, Dr Jo GillespieAssociate Professor Kurt Iveson, Professor Phil McManusAssociate Professor Dan PennyDr Sophie Webber

Anthropogenic climate change impacts all other environmental issues.  The causes and the spatial impacts of climate change vary significantly between countries and regions.  This research includes various industries generating greenhouse gas emissions, the financing of alternative pathways and solutions, the politics of climate change negotiations, mitigation and adaptation approaches, climate change activism and its impacts and just transitions for resource-dependent regions and workers in affected industries.  It encompasses a range of theoretical perspectives, includes work in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and intersects with the work of other research clusters within our School.

University academics: Associate Professor Eleanor Bruce and Dr Kevin Davies

Environmental spatial analysis and modelling using GIS and related spatial technologies often forms the foundational base knowledge source for policy makers in environmental problem-solving. Our research in spatial technologies covers a range of issues including geographical dimensions of coupled human-environment systems to examine drivers of coastal change and monitoring biophysical coastal system response to climate variability using high resolution Earth observation data .


University academics: Dr Jo Gillespie

Environmental protection and conservation is an area of pressing policy concern and in this research area we consider environmental regulation and governance dynamics across Australian and the Asia-Pacific. Our research ranges from critiquing international environmental laws through to documenting localized environmental regulatory problems. We assess the human-environment dimensions of biodiversity conservation through an examination of protected areas, wetlands and world heritage site management in our region. Our concern is to enhance our understanding of the role of law and regulation in shaping land/waterscapes using the lens of legal geography.

University academics: Associate Professor Dan Penny

The tropics are a critical component in the Earth System, regulating atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and driving global climatic change. They are also extraordinarily diverse in their environments and cultures both over space and through time. The history and dynamics of the global tropics is a fascinating area of research and one with enormous currency as the tropical regions of the earth - populous, rapidly developing and disproportionally threatened by climatic change - move into an uncertain environmental future.